First off, I write a beauty blog so the tips I will share here are mostly for beauty bloggers, of which I know many of you are. That said, they are also applicable generally across most blog topic niches – you may have to just think about it a little more
After I wrote about showing off your blog comment links on your blog to encourage discussion, I had some comments on Twitter and in that same comment box from fellow bloggers about people not commenting on their blogs, and how they can encourage the first step. I don’t profess to know why some blogs have more people commenting than others or how to encourage this. I can only share some tips I have learnt and experienced over the years as a blogger and blog reader, that I hope will help
1. Build a community
Yes, easier said than done, but it really is the first step towards receiving comments from readers. Blogging, as I like to emphasise is a community project. I view it as a neighbourhood where our blogs are our houses, and readers are visitors so comments are like visitors coming by to stop for a chat and some coffee or tea or maybe ice cream
So interact with your readers and other bloggers. Indulge in social media activity of your choice to grow your blog and when your circle is wider, you will find people interacting more with you on your blog, by leaving comments. Friends especially are helpful in this regard because friends always like stopping by for drinks or a snack and a bit o’ gossip
Then, importantly, respond to your commentators where possible. I like it when I get a response to my comment on another blog – it tells me the blogger took the time to read my comment and reply and if I have a question that is answered, all the better! I appreciate that and it keeps me going back and to continue commenting because I know I will get a reply.
2. Write something controversial
Fact is, people love controversy. So, if you dislike a product that everyone else loves, why not say so. You don’t have to bash it, but you can say in no uncertain terms you do not like it. Or perhaps you want to comment on something you’ve seen or a service you have tried. Or maybe you just want to talk about something most people try not to – check out Tine’s post on Made in China products as a case in point. She didn’t mean it to be controversial, but in fact it is and I think she handled it well
3. Show pictures of latest product releases
Fans of beauty products always want to see the actual photos of the new releases and to read associated reviews. So if you have them then good on ya! Show them off, and people may be encouraged to comment, whether to sigh over how pretty they are or to gawk. I may not be at the forefront of things but I too like looking at what’s new and I do tend to comment too if the photos are good ones.
Which brings us to a sub-point – taking good photos for your beauty blog. Good clear photos always draw people in and good photos encourage comment because people see just how beautiful the product is. A blurry, dark, grainy or overly filtered photo just makes people click away because it tells them nothing.
If you choose to go down this route, be prepared to always have to be right at the forefront of things. You must be out there, always first with news and photos. I personally have given up on this and am now just writing what I want when I want to. Yes, some may be new products but if I don’t get the newest and the latest, I’m not fussed about it anymore Similarly, I don’t make it a priority to make a new product my primary focus, unless I have something to say or if I want you to please please check it out because its absolutely gorgeous and I don’t want you to miss it! Case in point: Dior Rosy Glow blush and Guerlain Cruel Gardenia – too beautiful for you to miss and I hope you didn’t!
4. Ask questions of your readers
Asking questions implies you are seeking answers and people like helping you find those answers! I know I feel that way because I’m a reader and I also like sharing thoughts with product reviews or a tip or a technique I come across. The next thing to do, is to ask the right questions. Not every question elicits a response so the trick is to ask the right questions, which only you will know because the readers of every blog respond differently in every situation. Vivawoman employs this in her weekly discussive posts which are sometimes thought provoking. You may notice that there is a weekly discussive post here on MWS too which could be about anything and everything under the sun!
Sometimes, as Eli of Soloverly has proven, just simply seeking the help of readers provokes a good response. People love sharing information especially when they think you need help so don’t worry about always having to know the answers. Sometimes, its when we don’t know the answers, that we may actually find them!
5. Share something personal
A personal story always resonates with readers who, lets face it, love having a peek into the lives of others. It there any wonder why reality tv shows do so well? So share a mile stone, or your shopping haul or a piece of yourself, depending on your comfort level.
At the end of the day, how readers respond to a blog depends on each individual blog and blogger. Some sites have lots of readers but few comments. I don’t know and don’t profess to know how it happens. Sometimes, I don’t even know if a blog post will even elicit comment when I publish it. At other times, the most innocuous of blog posts end up with the most comments ever because everyone feels the need to say something (or point out an error perhaps )
The one sure fire way I know of that actually works is Tip #1 – Building a community. Oft times, I find that blog comments are left from readers, visitors and friends who I like to refer to as the community. As a blog reader, I too tend to leave comments on blog posts that I feel I have something to contribute to, or friends’ blogs by way of encouragement, or just on blogs that I read often and feel a part of their community.
If you blog, do you have tips on how you encourage your readers to comment? If you are a reader, do share if there are posts that you feel more inclined to comment on than others? What sorts of posts make you feel like you want to have a say in the comment box? Do share!
Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previousSimple Blogging Tips here.